Blessed are the Peacemakers
God did not send an angel to my husband, telling him I would conceive a son. God did not tell me to name him John. I named him John anyway, after an ancestor who signed the Declaration of Independence. Baby John was circumcised on the third day and home under bilirubin lights by the eighth. Queen Elizabeth II was on the throne—she did not order him to be killed. And so he was permitted to live past two years old, if he was lucky enough to escape the current threat.
And when he was thirteen months old, there in stroller, I took Baby John with me to buy meat at the deli. We were second in line. The woman in front turned around, said she hoped John would stay little forever, never grow up to fight in one of Bush’s wars. The aproned man behind the counter selling pulled pork stood to his full height and decreed: John will be a peacemaker.
At thirteen, John is still growing into his name, still learning what it means to be a child of God. Peace is easier for the meek. At thirteen, John has not yet inherited the earth—for there is too much Fortnite and hormones and rebelling against Miss Collins’ rules in civics class. Middle school and puberty conspire against his calling. Still, grace abounds.
Blessed is this boy, for he shall inherit my calves, my curiosity, my habit of washing hands. Along with these gifts, he will also inherit his father’s baller skills, eyebrows, constellatory moles. The boy shall inherit his family’s love of board games and play Monopoly with the temptation to pass Go and collect more than $200. The boy will grow as the years allow, fed by sunlight and rainfall—fruit chews, goldfish, and sharp cheddar string cheese. Someday, he will take stock of all that his parents and this world have left him, remember the prophecy and make his choice.
Marissa Glover teaches and writes in the United States, where she is the co-editor at Orange Blossom Review. Marissa’s poetry has appeared in Amaryllis,Riggwelter, Picaroon Poetry, Nine Muses, Solstice Sounds, and Ink, Sweat & Tears, among others, and is forthcoming from SWWIM Every Day and First Things. You can follow Marissa on Twitter @_MarissaGlover_.